If you think that your messy desk full of papers from last month’s project and the cracker crumbs you haven’t gotten a chance to clear away are no big deal, you might want to reconsider. Organized employees are more successful because they don’t need to waste time getting stuff ready before diving into an assignment. If you want to be more productive -- and of course you do -- then now is the time to adopt some new organizational habits.
Follow this guide and never have a messy desk ever again. It may be hard at first but you will be so thankful that you took the time to do it. Because now you’re getting twice as much work done. Good for you!
1. Know It's Overwhelming At First
Think about how you feel right now. You’ve got ten empty Starbucks cups thrown on your desk near your computer and you can barely see anything from the stacks and stacks of papers. You have so much junk you don’t even know where to start and getting organized feels completely overwhelming. Well, good. You want to think this way because it will motivate you to begin the organizational process. People can’t change unless they want to, right? So, make sure that you really want to. One look at your crazy messy office space and you will agree that you will save so much time if everything is in its proper place.
2. Invest in an Agenda
Organized people keep very detailed planners or agendas. You probably have that one friend who is super on the ball all the time and has a color-coded agenda full of post-it notes and reminders. You’ve most likely looked at that with envy and jealousy but figured it was too much work. Well, yes and no. It does take work to be clean and neat and organized, but it saves time in the long run. So, buy a new pretty agenda and make sure it’s one that you like so you will be guaranteed to use it. Buy some office supplies, too. It sounds silly and childish but writing in colorful markers instead of plain old pens can make a difference when it comes to your desire to actually use your agenda. Embrace the whimsy.
3. Write Everything Down... Right Now
When you get an email about an important meeting or your manager asks you to see you in their office Friday at 9:30 a.m. write it down, immediately. Don’t just figure you will remember or make a note of it later, because if you’re not used to being super organized, you will most likely forget. This is a good habit to have so, make a point of doing this and it will soon become second nature and just another part of your job.
4. Double-Check The Day Before Meetings and Appointments
This will ensure that you never miss an appointment ever again or get the date wrong. Sometimes despite our best efforts we mix up an appointment and think it’s a week earlier than it actually is. Stay on track and always double-check.
5. Get Into the Office 15 Minutes Early
If your morning routine consists of sleeping in way longer than you should and grabbing a banana at Starbucks while guzzling down your a.m. coffee and rushing to your desk, well, you need a new routine. Set your alarm earlier and make sure you’re sitting at your desk 15 minutes before the work day begins. This way you can go over everything you have to do that day and will begin feeling calm, cool and collected rather than harried and frazzled. You will love the new you because you will actually have time to smile and realize how much you love your job and career.
6. Ask Your Most Organized Colleague for Tips
Organized people love talking about their systems. Ask the most together employee at your company and see if they have any methods that you can adopt and that would work for you. Even if the discussion doesn’t prove all that helpful, you will at least know what you don’t want to do, which can also be beneficial.
7. Don't Expect A Change Overnight
Your chronically late friend may make an effort not to be more than ten minutes late to your Sunday brunch date but it might take her a few tries before she really grasps the concept of being on time. It will be the same for you and your growing organizational skills. Understand that it might take you a few weeks to get the hang of things and don’t beat yourself up. Even the smallest of changes will energize you.
8. Make Daily, Weekly and Monthly To-Do Lists
Making several lists is a great way to make sure that you always are on top of exactly what is expected of you. It’s helpful to know what you’re doing not only today, but tomorrow, the rest of the week, and even the remainder of the month. This will help you schedule your small and larger tasks. You won’t be sorry when you adopt this method of making several to-do lists.
9. Bring A Notebook to Meetings
There’s nothing worse than attending an exhausting and information-packed meeting... and then getting back to your desk and realizing you don’t remember a word that was said, let alone what it means for you and your position. Bring a notebook to that meeting and always take notes, even if you don’t think it’s super relevant to you.
With this guide to becoming super organized, you won’t believe the new you and will be killing it at work. Soon even the most put together employee will be asking you for your own tips. And of course, you will be happy to tell them.
Are you an organized person? If so, do you have any other tips that would help our readers who are still trying? Let us know in the comments section below.